Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn

Within These WallsWithin These Walls by Ania Ahlborn
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Lucas Graham, a true-crime author in need of another best-selling book to keep his career (and possibly his marriage) afloat receives a letter from incarcerated cult leader Jeffrey Halcomb. The letter promises an exclusive interview for Lucas, on the condition that Lucas gets to the prison for the interview within two weeks and if Lucas will agree to live in the house in which Jeffrey had led the murder/suicide ritual of his closest followers. Jeffrey Halcomb has been incredibly tight-lipped while in prison, denying any sort of press or interview requests. This type of exclusive interview is just what Lucas needs to write the book that will get him noticed again – both by his prior fans and by his wife who wants a separation/divorce.

So Lucas treks across the country with his moody pre-teen daughter and a U-Haul full of his belongings. He moves into the house where Jeffrey Halcomb murdered a young woman named Audrey Snow and their unborn child, and where 5 or 6 cult members poisoned themselves for Jeffrey. This house is where Jeffrey was arrested. With such a morbid history, it’s no surprise that the house is vacant.

Once they move into the house, Lucas and his daughter Virginia notice some strange things happening. They both see visions of people running out in the orchard in the backyard. They will sometimes be walking around the house at night, but instead of the house looking the way it does in the daytime, the decor and furniture are from decades ago. They hear things and they see things, but don’t really tell each other much because they don’t want the other to think they’re crazy.

Jeffrey Halcomb backs out of the interview, and so Lucas is left to try and come up with a new angle about Jeffrey Halcomb that’s never been done before – all the while never knowing if they’re safe in that house and whether it was a wise choice to move out there for the summer with his young daughter in tow.

I have to say that this book was pretty anti-climatic for me. I kept expecting the book to get scarier, and it never did. There was some creep to it, but not to the level I wanted. The book seemed to drag on and on, and I think as much could have been said with fewer words. The ending was pretty decent, but it took too long to get there, and then it was over.

I very much like Ania Ahlborn‘s writing style. She does a great job moving back and forth between the past and present to weave a thick plot. Her characters are always full and well-developed. She just has an easy way about her writing that I can really fall into place with. She’s very creative. I was just looking for something scarier and unsettling than this was.

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